autumn 2022 eli turned 21. imagine! yes, it was a monday. i wished him a happy birthday the evening before, apologized for my behavior at the cafe earlier in the afternoon, taking the opportunity for a long and loving hug, then driving to the Alumnae House where i had taken a room. we had spent a lovely four days in the City boppin’ around on our bikes, down the trail along the Hudson from the George Washington Bridge, saw a couple of performances, Topdog/Underdog by Suzan-Lori Parks and two follow up pieces to María Irene Fornés’ Fefu (Thanksgiving 2021), Mud & Drowning, re created by Philip Glass with musical scores.
summer 2022 commenced, as in years past, with the Solstice Garden Party. it was a lovely coolish, though bright day, marked by the presence in the backyard of old and new friends, wonderful chatter, and exceptional food, naturally highlighted by the sumptuous gardens delighting our senses. a few weeks later, after another celebratory birthday, the boys departed the Manse for the midwest, following the author’s route in his search for Menton, the main character of his novel, I Am the Frontier. we wound our way in a loop de loop sticking close to Wabash River as it took us from Huntington Indiana to its mouth at Shawneetown Illinois where it empties into the Ohio. we drove backcountry roads, and eventually wound up in Chicago for a few days where eli hooked up with best buddy Theo. from Chi Town we drove along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, turning inland at Traverse City, driving to Lake Huron’s western shore at Bay City. tourists were crawling about everywhere. lodging was dire. we decided, after two somewhat disappointing weeks we would return home. traveling in America during the summer ain’t what it used to be.
spring 2022 it was a blustery day as i recall, the first day of spring, vernal equinox in the middle of the afternoon. it was a sunday. colder weather and rain kept me from the yard, but as i write, we’ve turned the corner…drove to Poughkeepsie and returned with eli.
winter 2021 winter began with two a day yoga sessions, a thousand plus minutes for the week. seven days later i left town and spent the next six weeks in Costa Rica working on A Series of Short Stories, and roaming about the countryside, two of those weeks with eli. best times were along the Caribbean in the village of Tortuguero and in the village of Puerto Jimenez on the bayside of the Peninsula de Osa. home in early march, i drove to Poughkeepsie to visit eli. Vassar had an early spring break which we spent along the Eastern Shore and DC.
autumn 2021 at the end of summer eli left for Vassar. early october i joined him in Poughkeepsie for the school’s annual family weekend. i fell in love with the campus and his friends, as well as some of the parents. creatively i’ve been plodding along working on a series of short stories. my body feels beat up. issues with my hip. cycling has been intermittent, tho much better than a year ago. i’ve begun attending cultural events, covid be damned. eli took the train from Poughkeepsie and joined me in NYC for thanksgiving in Harlem. the Big House Cleaning punctuated the end of autumn.
summer 2021 summer, oh Summer, how i do love thee. on the saturday closest to this year’s solstice, summer was kicked off with our annual Solstice Garden Party. same sumptuous menu; same beverages; the same backyard, though this year it was even more enchanting. eli told me the other day, i say that every year, but the Manse gardens do get better year after year. early on it seemed like the party would have to be moved to the front porch, but late in the afternoon, the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly and we were able to convene in the backyard as usual. the gathering was smaller than in years past, but far more intimate.
a couple of weeks later eli and i left the house mid morning and pedaled north on back country roads, to Mars where we had a delicious, if not surprisingly wonderful lunch. the return ride was also lovely, again, along backroads, long stretches of downhill surrounded by forest, Pierce Mill Road, through North Park. after a brief respite at home, we pedaled to PNC Park to watch the Pirates eke out a victory against the Braves. my birthday was capped off with drinks on the front porch and a viewing of the first game of the NBA Playoffs. one of the best birthdays i have ever had. thank you eli b.
spring 2021 an early start to the spring clean up. the weather was accommodating. lots of sunshine and temperatures into the 60s and above. mid April the work was nearly finished. A Sound that Calls People from Afar preoccupies me as i attempt to bring it to the stage.
winter 2020 a two week fast began on the Winter Solstice as i embarked on a final edit of I AM The Frontier. my body feels good. i’m alert. during the first week i did yoga twice daily. as i write, we are in the throes of winter, and though housebound for the most part, we revel in the clean, sharp appearance of our fair abode while attending to necessary set aside projects.
in February we took our leave of The Manse and headed west on a one month junket into the western frontier, visiting several sites mentioned in I Am The Frontier, most notably, Cahokia. we spent several days Santa Fe, before heading to Mesa Verde, Zion, Bryce and Arches National Parks. a superb trip. the photographs are outstanding.
autumn 2020 the Annual Big House Cleaning went superbly well, and A Sound that Calls People from Afar is moving along quite rapidly. couldn’t be more pleased. the gardens have been put to rest and attention turned inward.
summer 2020 Summer began, as usual, with our Solstice Garden party. i took a chance and had a maskless party. it was a huge success. the food was good and the gardens were astonishing. not long after, the exterior of The Manse was painted. it is gorgeous. a slow period set in toward the end of july, a malaise of sorts, the pandemic redesigning our daily schedule. we’ve managed to get a bit done around the house, ride some, though far from previous accomplishments. yoga has been stellar. july was marked by extraordinary temperatures and a high level of humidity. it was unbearable certain days. i am ready to commence a new project; i am ready to return to Three Quarters Below the Street.
as summer came to an end, i descended and began my new project, designed as a theatre piece/novel. what that means at the moment, i’ve no idea, but i am working out my ideas in the theatre and my office, shifting between. the name of the project is A Sound that Calls People from Afar, which is also the name of the main character, a young woman, daughter of Menton from I Am the Frontier, and the woman who befriended him in Alaska.
spring 2020 a Coronavirus hit America as spring was about to announce itself. the boys made ready to head outside and begin another Spring cleanup. ironically, i contracted an unrelated virus which laid me out for a week. i moved slowly, unable to do yoga, and most definitely unable to ride. when i returned to both, a new year had begun. during my convalescence however, i was able to finish my edit of the Scent of the Land and get a good start on Why Do We Do…as i write, on the verge of summer, in advance of our annual Garden Party, while we have suffered a quarantine, a lack of social and cultural activity, we have been able to focus our attention on the gardens of The Manse, and they are as lovely as they have ever been, rich, mature, healthy, and aesthetically pleasing, the sanctuary i have long cultivated. meanwhile, the Scent of the Land has been sent to about 25 small presses and the finishing touches of the first edit have been completed on I Am The Frontier.
winter 2019 Big House Cleaning. trip to Durham to visit Duke. rode bikes everywhere. a very enjoyable winter break. returned rejuvenated. put the finishing touches on I Am The Frontier. it is ready for a final edit. i left home spending february in Mexico where i made the final edit of the Scent of the Land, and when i wasn’t working i managed to spend a week touring Mexico City, including the ruins outside of town, north about 35 kilometers. i spent another week in Michoacán visiting several old colonial villages as well as the Mariposa Reserva, and my couple weeks in Xalapa and the nearby village of Coatepec, visiting Sergio Stern, while making friends with a friend of his, Santiago Orduna, who runs a cultural center in Coatepec where i had taken a room. it was like old times though without eli, whom i sorely missed.
autumn 2019 Thanksgiving in New York City. another superb visit. stayed in Harlem. rode bikes up and down the avenues and across the Brooklyn Bridge. visited Columbia. explored the northern portion of Manhattan. saw several theatre productions including Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish, along with Fefu and Her Friends by María Irene Fornés whose work i have long had a desire to experience, and another piece at the Public Theatre called the Michaels. ate well. earlier, as summer had begun to wane and autumn clutch the city, the Allderdice Soccer team rallied, making a gallant run for the playoffs after squandering several mid season games. they came up short but looked good, outplaying teams bound for playoff competition. eli played better as the season progressed.
summer 2019 biking dominated the summer, along with the gardens. we didnt’t travel beyond where our bikes could take us. there were numerous fifty milers through summer. late summer i was hit by a car from behind in the Strip District. damage was minimal.i was very fortunate to come away unscathed.
spring 2019 made quick work of our spring clean up, staying ahead of the game by purchasing plants for the central bed early, those that had been hit by a couple of pesky weeds. the bicycling season began with a bang, long rides, riding often, piling up great miles, fridays for cross country out of town gambits of which there were quite a few.
winter 2018 i recovered from my accident. it took about a month before i was able to return to my mat. weeks later i got on a bike. my focus during recovery was I Am The Frontier. by the Big House Cleaning in december i was fairly mobile and capable of work. after the new year i made the acquaintance of the folks at Kindred Cycles, a shop i had passed numerous times located in the Strip District. since Big Bang left town, they were now doing the custom fitting for Waterford. i took my lovely but disgraced carmine red road bike to the shop and had them pack it up. in the meantime i was custom fit for a new steel cross bike. the plan was to give eli the Pinarello and i would have a new bike made. the remainder of winter was marked by indoor soccer and not much else.
autumn 2018 the Allderdice soccer season is in full throttle. one sunny morning i left Cupples Stadium where Allderdice was getting beat by an average team from Butler. disgusted, i figured i’d ride hard and return to the stadium after the game to meet eli. i rode around the backstreets of the Southside, finding my way to the 12th Street and began climbing. 12th Street merges with Brosville, one of the steeper ways to ascend Mt. Washington. i took my time, crested the hill and began to descend Warrington Avenue, where i was sandwiched between street car tracks and parked cars. my vision was focused on maintaining my position. about two blocks down there was a gap where cars couldn’t park, and when i looked up i saw a jeep sitting broadside across my lane. i braked but i was too close for the speed and rammed into the side of a Rio Grande. i was catapulted from my saddle onto the pavement, the wind was knocked out of me, my back swollen, though at the moment, i did not feel pain. it took about a minute before i was able to gain my feet. a bystander, who did not witness the accident, called 911. although there were people passing, no one had seen the event. eventually a police officer arrived, along with an EMS vehicle and the local firetruck. i was taken back to Cupples by the EMS officer and my Waterford was taken by the firetruck. one of eli’s teammates’ father was kind enough to drive us home. as i write, eleven days after the accident, i am still fairly immobile. the Harvest Moon wore a silvery frown.
summer 2018 we flew into Tirana Albania, spent a day and a half wandering, then mounted cross bikes and took off on a nine day bicycling adventure around the southern portion of the country, crossing mountain passes, spending time along rivers, lakes and the Adriatic. it was a wonderful trip. afterwards, headed north into the mountains, and from there made our way by bus to Dubrovnik Croatia. the look on eli’s face as we entered the old city our first evening, was precious. magnificent! after five days in Dubrovnik we flew to Slovenia and immediately made our way to Bled and the lake that has brought thousands for over a century. it is one of the most picturesque places in the world. once again, we mounted cross bikes and took off to discover the charm and beauty of western Slovenia. we spent a few days riding through the Alps, visited the medieval town of Sofia Loka, spent time in Ljubljana, the charming capital, along the coast, in Trieste Italy, and after the biking returned to the mountains for some canyoning, before our bus ride to Venice. we spent five days absolutely enchanted by the city, looking past its shabby exterior, Piazza San Marco not included. didn’t ride a gondola, but ate fabulously. it was a great vacation. unfortunately we were welcomed home to knee high weeds and ivy gone wild. it took us four solid days to return the gardens to normal. as i write, early september, school has begun and i am in the thick of work.
spring 2018 we were determined to make this year’s garden the best, and it began to appear that would come to fruition. eli is far more capable, so the work went smoothly. i was planting well before i usually do. and then, in a flash, so it seemed, school was out and spring was coming to an end, the lilies were in bloom, those along the side, day lilies, and those in the front, oriental lilies, their intoxicating scent wafting across the landscape of the Manse.
winter 2017 the greatest biking season wound down to a few rides here and there. during the week of the winter solstice i did double yoga sessions and managed a thousand minute week which had previously eluded me. throughout the quiet winter months i bore down on my new writing project, I Hear the Frontier, all the while missing traveling.
autumn 2017 Indian Summer was exceptional. the warmest days seemed to be deep into september and early october. i put an abrupt end to the piece i had started one year before. for the time being it seems to be finished. i immediately launched a new piece, another novel with some interesting structural twists. I Hear the Frontier is about one of the grandchildren of the main character from The Scent of the Land, whose path takes him west, away from the forces of the Europeans who have invaded his world. his journey is west, along the path Ami took in the shape her body makes, only in reverse.
summer 2017 in the middle of june we flew to Athens, but spent most of the next month in the Peloponnese, two of those weeks on bicycle. what a glorious place! for me it was a 40th anniversary since i had been in Greece last. the biking was superb. the mountain rides were stunning. great archaeological sites, particularly Mycenae. it was superb. once home, i picked up where i had left. work went well, and my bicycling simply took off. zoom zoom zoom!
spring 2017 we were outside in the garden beds in the middle of march. spring break saw us in Washington DC. with our bikes, along with Richmond and the Great Dismal Swamp. the weather was superb. unfortunately the yard had grown substantially over the week we were gone. nevertheless, t’was a very good spring.
winter 2017 we stayed home during the winter, first time in twelve years. i worked on a new project, an extended elegy entitled, Why Do We Do We Do the Things We Do (to One Another)? about death, amongst other things. early january we visited Las Vegas, hiked around Hoover Dam and Death Valley, and heard Van Morrison at the Palace Theatre. spring came early.
autumn 2016 eli turned fifteen. in september he entered 9th grade at Allderdice High School. it was his first experience with public school. he is not being seriously challenged academically though he is being asked to do work he has had little to no experience with, such as writing poems in a specific style, creating charts depicting the history of immigration. there is benefit in the social realm—friendships, soccer, after school gatherings. at the end of the school year we will decide whether to continue the experiment. as for me, my attention is slowly being drawn to the business side of my writing. i need to get the word out to agents, reviewers and small press publishers about my work.
summer 2016 came, went, and where oh where did it go, oh lord, i do not know. The Scent of the Land was whittled, and made ready for publication. a new project surfaced, another novel, the third, also featuring Ami as the central character.
spring 2016 spring clean up was around rainstorms and flurries. nevertheless, it went smoothly. the garden party was postponed due to the weather, as were various bike rides, and jaunts about town. after last year’s herculean effort, i was not nearly as zealous about my riding. nonetheless, the miles piled up after a while. the shape her body makes was published through Create Space in the middle of may.
winter 2015/16 flew to Santiago Chile the third monday of january, and spent nine plus weeks working our way from the middle of the country to the tip of Patagonia, the end of the earth, the last frontier of human habitation. we had numerous adventures along the way— white water rafting, various hikes, a week long backpacking trip in Torres del Paine, canyoning, horseback riding. eli’s spanish continues to improve while mine seems to be deteriorating.
autumn 2015 the weather was outstanding. i continued my onslaught of the roads. hired an editor and designer and the three of us began the work of preparing the shape her body makes for publication.
summer 2015 bicycling dominated summer. may and june were incredibly wet, but i was able to pedal around or thru the raindrops. after the 4th of july it was dry, and the more summer asserted itself, i did as well. it wound up being my best ever bicycling season. creatively, i edited both novels exhaustively; and the first four pieces of America, a place were reformatted, along with Two Peas in a Pod, Exodus Without a Tourguide and a couple of other pieces.
spring 2015 in the midst of spring clean up, earth day, it is raining, and the yard is sopping wet, but looking good considering it was a worse than average winter. the last couple of years have been rough. somehow the fish managed to survive.
winter 2014 on the heels of our winter excursion, the finishing touches were place on The Scent of the Land, requiring only a final, but thorough edit. we departed for winter later than usual, allowing eli precious time at the Riverhound Academy, and me, work on the novel. it was a South American Reprise—Colombia, Peru and the Amazon. Colombia continues to amaze. the most beautiful landscape i have ever witnessed. we stressed visiting places we had not previously. the highlight of our trip were the mountains in the south between Popoyan and San Agustin, particularly Tierra Dentro, a national park near San Andres de Pisimbala, a small village ensconced in the mountains. the park contains numerous decorated tombs from the first millennium, excellent hiking and breathtaking vistas. the Amazon was interesting, especially the few days we spent up river with a family who runs a floating hostel. eli swam with pink dolphins. we took river transport down the Amazon from Leticia Colombia to Iquitos Peru. quite a journey to say the least. Uruguay was too much like America, but the beaches were nice and the food absolutely fantastic. the country’s most interesting topography was the Serrana, a highland area north of Montevideo.
fall 2014 work on The Scent of the Land continued with great focus and intensity once eli returned to school, after being held in abeyance through much of spring and summer. work progressed nicely. in october, eli was Bar Mitzvahed. he studied privately and read his parsha, the first chapter of Genesis, in english and hebrew under his corkscrew willow at the front of the yard, on a refulgent, though chilly saturday morning in the middle of october. later that evening surrounded by friends, afront the fireplace in the living room, he read his speech. it was a lovely day. for Thanksgiving, we chose not to leave town which has been our habit, instead, taking rides around the city, riding on Thanksgiving Day to a movie, and of course, popcorn.
summer 2014 once i was able to turn my attention from the gardens to the roads around the city, it turned out to be by far and a way, the best year for biking and yoga. all records noted below, were once again broken. we continued the weekly Bike to Eat ride taking us to unexplored areas in and around the city. there were many gorgeous rides deep into the countryside. there were plenty of hills in all directions from our home. unfortunately, there was no time for our annual summer camping trip, though i did drive eli to Asheville, to meet his mother, where we were able to spend a few days riding into and around the Great Smoky Mountains.
spring 2014 harshest winter in a long time. the deeper into our spring cleaning we got, the more i came to realize how extensive the devastation had been. after a couple of weeks, as shrubs and trees began to foliate, i learned exactly how many loved ones had perished, fish included. we lost a rose bush, a rhododendron and its neighbor, a member of daphne family, a couple of azaleas, an arbor vitae, the tree of life, quite a few perennials, and substantial sections of ivy, particularly in the front near the sidewalk. it was the middle of june before work ceased and i was able to remove and replant, and then there was the bamboo, which has also been hit hard. after battling the spreading Bambusa for twenty years, i decided it was time to remove it entirely. one saturday morning, eli and i cut down forty poles. i hired a crew and they sweated and grunted their way from one section of fence to the next, removing clumps. there is still more work, but the bamboo is contained in a way it has never been. as a consequence, other shrubs in the area have begun to flourish. while the yard is far, far from my vision, it is in a very good place.
winter 2013 we departed early, left ten days before the winter solstice, flew to Casablanca, wearily trounced about the city, taking a train the next morning to Marrakech, and the following, by car, to the Atlas Mountains. for the next three weeks we hiked, biked and rode horses through the High Atlas and surrounding valleys. we returned to Marrakech for New Year, then rented a car and drove into the desert, rode camels, slept in the quiet solitude of the Sahara, after which we visited various gorges, where we hiked, then drove overland west to the Atlantic and spent five days in Essaouira before returning to Marrakech. an overnight train took us to Tangier, and a ferry across the Mediterranean to Andalusia, the southernmost province of Spain, stronghold of the Moors. Tarifa, Cadiz, Seville, Granada, Cordoba, a tour of the white villages, Ronda peaking out from high atop the mountains. spent a month in Spain, broken up by a week in Lisbon. loved all things Portuguese. returned from Spain via Cueta, a Spanish territory on the Moroccan coast. continued south to Fez, Meknes, Volubilis—a highlight—and Casablanca for our final three days, walking the streets where we had begun, chasing ghosts from the past.
spring – summer 2013 it was a rainy spring and early summer, but we were not deterred from outside activities. in many ways i out did the previous summer’s biking. i was strong. probably went on more long rides than in previous years. i certainly created more interesting rides. Bike to Eat was a huge success, as a follow up to the end of eli’s spring session at the Riverhounds, and a way to retain the 25 mile round trip up to the Greentree Sportsplex. Bike to Eat brought us to all parts of the city, and many neighborhoods i hadn’t visited for quite a while. Bikefest, at the end of summer, was bigger and better. my third annual Ode to the Hills was a huge success. in the spring and early summer the garden was a sumptuous delight, fading as the temperatures rose in august. in july eli and i took our bikes camping to Eastern Tennessee riding around various civil war battlefields, part the second of our earlier trip, learning about the western campaign. gorgeous scenery. work on The Scent of the Land continues…
winter 2012 flew to the Caribbean. had hoped to continue work and to a certain extent i did, but on the whole i really didn’t get much done. Puerto Rico was like visiting New Jersey, while the Dominican Republic, home to one of my novel’s main characters, was a wonderful surprise, and far more adventurous than we anticipated. Haiti was difficult, ebbing and flowing between sublime and tedious. back in America, Miami, we returned home via the Gulf Coast, a three week drive from Sarasota, along the west coast—Crystal River, Cedar Key, camping, kayaking, Pensacola—winding up in Mobile Alabama before heading inland to Sand Mountain and Chattanooga Tennessee.
fall 2012 Washington D.C. for eli’s eleventh birthday, then a reprise of our trip to New York City over Thanksgiving. rode even more than the prior year. eli enjoyed the International Center for Photography and the Museum of Modern Art. a couple of plays, and some wonderful meals rounded out the trip. the house has been cleaned top to bottom, and glows radiant and immaculate, as it was designed.
summer 2012 one of the warmest summers in many a year. the biking was by far and away the best—more rides, longer, harder, faster, you name it. eli became the proud owner of his first road bike. he took to it as i knew he would, like a fish. he has become an incredibly gifted rider—strong, fast, able to challenge himself, and knowledgeable about shifting. very impressive.
spring 2012 we returned to gloriously unseasonal weather, warmer than Ecuador. it was sunny and in the mid to upper 70’s for the first ten days after our return. the bikes were out in a flash, and yard work begun. oh, spring…
winter 2011 with the winter solstice i embarked on a three week fast, which dovetailed with our trip to South America. it was the first long fast in many years, preparation for greeting a new landscape. we arrived in Panama, visited the Canal, the old part of Panama City, Santa Catalina on the Pacific, one of the finest beaches anywhere, the highlands of Panama along the Costa Rican border, Bocas del Toro; took a flight to Cartagena Colombia where we spent a week before heading up the coast to Santa Marta from where we began a six day trek into the Sierra Nevadas, and Ciudad Perdido, the lost city. after the trek we took an overnight bus to the highland region of Santander—San Gil, Villa de Leyva and Barichara—winding up in Bogota for twenty four hours before flying to Quito. we spent a week in Quito and around, exploring Mindo to the north, then flew to the Galapagos Islands—Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floreana—then back to Quito and south to Cotopaxi and Banos. there were many adventures, particularly for eli. we zip lined, rafted in white water, levels 3 and 4; rode bikes; and rappelled 80 meters through a cascade. Ecuador and Colombia more than captured our imagination.
fall 2011 the house was cleaned top to bottom, hatches battened in anticipation of winter. the biking season though, continued unabated. we took our rigs to NYC for Thanksgiving. rode around the entire perimeter of Brooklyn.
spring – summer 2011 another very physical season. april was wet. it rained twenty five days, and the other five were cloudy. sunny and dry since. the gardens are in excellent shape, though the apple tree seems to be in jeopardy. biking and yoga. the Civil War captured our attention. we took a ten day trip to the battlefields that preceded and immediately followed Gettysburg, leading us to the Appomattox Court House.
winter 2010 an adventurous trip through Central America for the boys as winter approached. departure was earlier than usual. mid december we flew into Belize, took a boat to Caye Caulker, spent days on end on the beach, amongst the coral, doing yoga in the grass. we returned inland and hunted down Mayan ruins, floated along rivers, spent days in a bird sanctuary, a canyon; Guatemala, Tikal, a five day trek to El Mirador, the colonial city of Antigua, a two day/nite hike to the Acatenango Volcano, Lake Atitlan, Honduras, Copan, the Atlantic coast, Nicaragua, Leon, Granada, the great market of Masaya, the Pacific, volcanoes, zip lines, Roberto Clemente, and the beautiful Isla Ometepe.
fall 2010 The Scent of the Land was begun, follow up to its predecessor. Ami re emerges a time traveler, returning to the Brooklyn of the 17th century. the novel weaves a complex story of early New Amsterdam, and what led to the creation of New York City, with those living in the 20th century who have an abiding interest in the seeds being sown as Manahattoes became Manhattan. time, and time traveling, capitalism, and the changes upon the landscape are grist. letters of inquiry were sent to agents & publishers about the shape her bOdy makes.
summer 2010 an accident on my Bianchi with a port authority bus marked the season. a rapid recovery. no substitute for health. new bike was fabricated. in the interim i purchase the single speed i’d lusted over. biked like i had not. yard work, like in years gone by, waning only with the approach of autumn. mid summer found eli and i in West Virginia—Dolly Sods, Seneca Rock—then Serpent Mound in southern Ohio, en route to his mother’s in Texas. at the end of summer a new steel frame bike from Waterford Precision Cycles arrived. i fell in love with this creation on my very first ride.
spring 2010 began in earnest. healed enough to engage in the annual garden clean up. work proceeded methodically. soon enough i resumed biking. the weather was gorgeous. lots of sun, days and days soaking up the warmth. yoga was slow going but i was dedicated and before long the scent of progress was about the studio. work continued on the shape her bOdy makes. as may approached the final touches were placed on the novel. i declared finito at the end of the first week of may, and decided to take a break before hunting down an agent.
winter 2009 a week after Thanksgiving i woke up one morning with what i assumed was a simple pull in the intercostal area on the right side of my back. within a day i was laid low, suffering spasms, contractions, pain, and an inability to move, bend, sit, shit or stand. wow! through winter i was in a bad way. i suppose all the intense level of physical activity caught up with me? as january came to an end, my attention was turned to my cushion where i allowed the emotional traumas of my life, all of them, large and small, insignificant, hidden, and obscure, every last one, to surface. once i made a strong connection with these, healing came swiftly. all the therapies i had used to heal, had been unsuccessful in the face of the emotional trauma that beckoned attention. we suffer in silence and our suffering finds a home within our body. we were unable to take our annual winter trip abroad, but once i recovered, in early march, eli and i drove to Arizona where we camped in desert along Mexican border pretending to be refugees from the east coast. Gila National Forest, Bisbee, Tucson, Hot Springs Arkansas.
fall 2009 a surprising twist as the the shape her bOdy makes propels its way toward completion. the novel has become a metaphor for the physical landscape of the American continent, as well as the various relationships with women the main character has on his journey. the final chapters feel as though someone else has taken control of the writing process. the piece moves forward effortlessly. as autumn began to make itself known, eli and i took a trip across the continent, flying to Seattle, where we stayed a week haunted by memories, days spent roaming around the city hunting down the young man who once lived on Capital Hill, walking the paths of all the jaunts he had made in and around Emerald City. we rented a car and drove into the Cascades, camped, got wet, hiked, laughed, photographed the world, took a ferry to Vancouver Island, where we did more of the same, before returning via ferry, to spend our final week in Olympic National Park. thanksgiving day we took a memorable mountain bike ride through the hollows of Pittsburgh, a ride now offered annually during BikeFest, which has become a regular staple of ours.
summer 2009 this past year has been the most outstanding year physically in memory. a few years ago i began tracking the amount of time spent on my yoga mat, and in the saddles of my various bicycles. every previous record i had established for time engaged, speed, mileage, yoga sessions, every which way i could view the numbers, all records were broken, and not by a small margin, but a dramatic leap. even while i was engaged i was beside myself really, simply amazed at my own capacity. and while this was transpiring, the garden fell prey, once again, to the insidious penetration of unidentifiable invaders. the glory i felt early on turned dismal by fall, and once again, i lost the heart, but not entirely. there were numerous bright spots. secretly i knew i was close to recapturing what i have long struggled to create.
spring 2009 it was one of the best springs at the Manse in years. spring clean up was smooth. the pests which had wreaked havoc on the PA Roadside beds were extricated. new plants found a home. while the work rejuvenating the garden is not finished, there was a sense of continuity, a connection to past effort, with an eye toward the future. a brand new nursery has surfaced in the life of the Manse, a native plant nursery. some outstanding plants were placed around the yard, mainly in the shady areas, but in the sunny rear central bed as well. patience. a recrudescence of the work on the shape her bOdy makes germinated within the spring buds, and continued fairly unabated through summer. work on the novel will culminate at years’s end. editing will be necessary, but the shape her bOdy makes will be ready for publication.
january – march 2009 the boys flew to Peru on the last day of january, spent five weeks traveling from Lima to Cusco, and up through the Sacred Valley, trekking to Macchu Picchu, one of the world’s greatest sites along the Urumbamba River, then, into the jungle, and a rainforest along the Bolivian border. we then flew south to Arequipa and the Colca Canyon. it was a very intense trip physically. the little one faired well, while the older one had some trouble toward the end, a mild bout with some gastrointestinal disorder. all was well when home they didst land.
winter 2008/09 as the year of the rat came to an end, the man of the Manse hunkered in, cultivating a private retreat in the hope of accelerating work on the shape her bOdy makes, while deepening effort to understand fear and anxiety through his meditation practice, while rejuvenating commitment to yoga.
summer 2008 disquiet settled about the man of the Manse, reflected in the garden beds. flux. the late start was only part of the problem. by the end of june it became clear a number of unwanted guests had rooted themselves pretty throughout the yard, killing many old favorites. autumn, thankfully, came early, and with it, a rejuvenation of energy and commitment to works in progress.
spring 2008 return from our great adventure was the weekend before taxes were due. the weather turned sour. yard work was delayed. spring clean up was not completed until the end of june. i was a frustrated and a fairly well drained writer when i resumed work on The Frontier. the process began with a name change—the shape her bOdy makes—which provides a more personal touch. work however was aborted as the weather heated up, and i became focused on goodbye 15232, a photographic essay of the city from the bicycle’s point of view. riding was lively, intense and consuming. while the year has not been good emotionally, or intellectually, it has been an outstanding year physically. as summer came to an end and work on goodbye 15232 concluded, preparations were made to get the project online.
winter 2008 the boys depart town feeling giddy, though the weather is bleak, the landscape dreary, and the earth frozen. they drive till they reach sunlight. their first encampment is Albuquerque New Mexico. the camera dies while shooting a sunset. dinosaurs are brought to life. the road leads north to Canyon de Chelly, Antelope Canyon, and the Grand Canyon, where they camp in 6 degree weather, then hike into the canyon. they head south for warmth and ballyhooed games of football. disappointed by the weather they continue west to San Diego where the weather still does not oblige them. they camp a few days on the beach north of San Diego. battered one nite by wind and rain, they are undeterred. the trip is colored by eli’s mother’s breast cancer. her surgery is in Valencia. the Canon factory is en route. the camera is dropped off. side trips are taken from the hotel to forests in the area around Santa Monica. eli spends time with mommy offering good cheer. on the way to Mexico eli suffers terribly from a toothache. we cross the border at Mexicali and hunt down a dentist. he has an infection. eli is given novocain and the cavity is filled. it is traumatic. we camp on the beach at San Felipe in the Baja. the first month is spent camping, hiking, kayaking, wandering the hills, marked by an accident when the Acura flies off the road and rolls to the sandy desert floor below. we are uninjured. we hug and wander the empty desert in deep lamentation. we are saved by passerby’s. it is an amazing experience. oh the Baja…the second month is spent wandering around the mainland, starting with a reprise of Mazatlan by ferry, glad to be on familiar terrain. we explore the coast south, then head into the highlands—Guadalajara, Zacatecas, Real de Catorce, where we have more car trouble, and finally San Miguel de Allende, where we take an apartment to spend time with friends and have the car fixed. the highlight of the final month is our trip to Guanajuato. the return is exciting predicated on getting eli home in time for his first soccer game of the spring season. stops include old haunts —Enchanted Rock State Park, San Antonio, Little Rock, Memphis, Louisville.
autumn 2007 a change of heart. the sign is removed as are the notices.
spring – summer 2007 an inordinate amount of work accomplished inside and out, preparing The Manse for sale. by mid summer a sign was placed at the foot of the front yard, and notices posted online.
winter 2006/07 the winter solstice begins with avi in retreat at IMS. he returns home in time to watch the super bowl with his son. on the 31st of january, avi and eli take their annual winter excursion. they begin by driving south to visit saba daba doo. a week later they are on the Gulf Coast camping and canoeing, before frolicking in the Big Easy. after Mardi Gras, it’s off to Seminole Canyon, and Big Bend National Park along the Rio Grande, in south central Texas. from the small border town of Presidio, they enter Mexico. their peripatetic feet, along with various buses, bring them deep into Barrancas del Copre, the Copper Canyon, in the heart of Chihuahua. after many adventures within the canyon, a dilapidated old school bus takes them to the Chepe train, where a couple of bus rides later, they are seen relaxing in Mazatlan.
fall 2006 avi begins to recognize the great depth of the transformation of which he is in the midst. his response is to begin the novel he has always wanted to write, entitled, The Frontier.
march 2006 eli and avi return from Mexico and find embedded in the stack of mail greeting them, a paper from the County of Allegheny decreeing randi and avi’s divorce.
winter 2006 ten day silent meditation retreat at IMS. eli and avi then make return visit to Mexico, this time exploring the states of Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Chiapas.
autumn 2005 final edit America, part five, ‘The Blessing’ and Two Peas in a Pod. another look at America, a place, all four parts, along with Exodus Without a Tour Guide, and Dismembered. Remembered, just for the heck of it.
summer 2005 eli and avi take first canoe outing, as part of a three day camping trip, followed by a pilgrimage to our nation’s capital, Bethany Beach in Delaware, and a five day family retreat at IMS in Barre, Massachusetts.
spring 2005 another phase of work at The Manse—dining room floor, yoga studio, master bedroom and eli’s bedroom…
winter 2005 ten day silent meditation retreat at Insight Meditation Society in Barre Massachusetts. afterwards, daddy and doody take their show to Mexico and explore the peninsula states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo and Campeche.
december 2004 work begins on America, part five, ‘The Blessing’. september 2004 apropos of Two Peas in a Pod, randi and avi inch their way closer in their separation toward their eventual divorce. imagine that!?
autumn 2004 The Man in a Flannel Shirt and A WOman, two separate pieces, character studies, isolated views of ambition and the intricacies of family, form Two Peas in a Pod, a theatre production.
winter 2003 final edit, America, a place. it is packed and ready for production. a producer and an agent are sought. an artistic life is organized.
fall 2003 work completed on Terminal, Andres Tapia-Urzua’s video about terrorism.
summer 2003 we three kings travel south by slightly west deep into the great Smoky Mountains encompassing Asheville, Madison County North Carolina. we search the lay of the land for The Farm.
summer solstice 2003 America, part iv is finished. America’s period of gestation is over. four pieces are ready…
winter solstice 2002 annual fast. intense month long retreat. the way is paved for the final phase of America, part iv, ‘the journey up the mountain’, in which the audience is taken on a journey up a mountain. during their journey pauses are taken during which rituals are performed. atop the summit a modern version of the Lenni Lenape Big House ceremony is enacted. no performers; no observers; only we. the piece is designed to facilitate transformation.
autumn 2002 finishing touches to America, part ii and part iii.
summer 2002 randi, little eli B. and avi take a trip. they make a journey across the country to the southwest. their peregrination becomes a grand adventure…
april 2002 a pleasant visit with The Seder. revisions. old characters are given new strength, wisdom and passion, and a new character is unveiled, whose role as story teller, connects the Rabbi, the German soldier and the taped voice of Simon Wiesenthal, the Jew. performed once again at Three Quarters Below the Street.
january 2002 work begins on America, part iii, ‘the garden’. a locale, a location, the local; from the particular to the general; two people, a male and a female join. part iii is a dance for two performers: they come together, they separate, they return; they perform rituals; they each make a personal transformation. this piece is a rite of passage. in addressing the issue of place, one should begin with the relationship they have with themselves, locating themselves, so to speak, within their body, within the garden, upon the land known as body.
winter solstice 2001 final edit on America, part II, ‘the evolution of the landscape’. the seeds planted at the first millennium, six hundred years later, germinate. history of America from the point of view of the land. the continent comes alive. final edit to America, part i.
10 October 2001 at 11:49 in the morning, flailing about like the wild woman randi truly is, with a single loud, breathtaking, irrevocable push, my trembling, receptive, cupped hands receive new life: the birth of the man child, eli B. who enters this world filled with great inspiration. summer 2001 anniversary. Madagascar. a total solar eclipse. primordial silence…safari in Kruger National Park South Africa.
december 2000 work on America, part II, ‘the evolution of the landscape’ continues.
fall – winter 2000 as autumn begins to turn its sombre eyes toward winter, the finishing touches are placed on Exodus Without a Tourguide. the piece has become an experimental theatrical conversation between text, music, and film/video. the Sinai is symbol; the Sinai is our imagination; the Sinai is passage and transformation. it is about the personal rituals necessary to make a passage thru the desert. EveryMan chronicles his journey into the Sinai, re-tracing the route of Exodus, while confronting his personal demons. his process of transformation and the deep changes upon the landscape are all explored through language, music, film and video.
may – september 2002 – 2000 work is done on The Manse to house a newly formed family: the gorgeous French crazed stain glass window is returned to its place on the stairway landing, and the second floor once again becomes home to bedrooms, the old kitchen a nursery; the first floor kitchen is renovated, and the music room, and central hall floors are refinished.
tuesday 20 june 2000 their 28 day fast culminates with The Wedding, on the summer solstice, the first anniversary of their meeting. randi waltuck and avi wenger bind themselves one to the other in a beautiful, distinctive and theatrical ceremony, filled with personal and traditional jewish rituals.
9 May 2000 like a faery elf, Beatrice Wenger, a lily with beaming smile and an open heart. she was a gentle woman, a gracious lady with uncommon strength. she made people feel good about themselves. mother, friend, pal, she passes like the wind without notice, leaving memories, love, hope and sweetness…
monday 21 june 1999 the meeting of two ‘peas in a pod’ on the summer solstice. randi waltuck meets avi wenger. they spend the next year nurturing their relationship.
may – april 1999 first draft of a re-vamped Exodus Without a Tourguide.
february – april 1999 return trip to the Middle East—Israel, the Sinai, and Jordan. finishes gathering material for a project about the Sinai. manages to establish the basis for an artistic collaboration with Israeli musician-composer, Yisrael Borochov.
january 1999 second dialogue with Mr. Vargo, based on the transformational themes contained in Mr. Wenger’s theatre project about the Sinai. the dialogue is loosely titled, Exodus Without a Tourguide. performed at Katz Theatre in the Jewish Community Center, Pittsburgh.
september 1998 first dialogue with Michael Vargo, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. is there a bridge between business and art? if so, what, where, when, how, and why?
winter 1998 lead actor in Matadero Karma by Andres Tapia-Urzua, a Chilean filmmaker, about raising cattle in Chile.
summer 1997 a journey into the Badlands and the Rosebud Reservation, witness to the Sun Dance Ceremony. powerful and overwhelming imagery. the remainder of adventure takes him to native holy sites in the hills of southwestern Colorado and northern New Mexico.
may 1997 Solos, Duos and Trio, a nite of words, music, sounds and passion; a nite of cabaret. performed at Three Quarters Below the Street. Lee Robinson, saxophones; Ravish Momin, percussion, and Mr. Wenger, vocals. each participant performs solo—Wenger reads ‘Sunflower Sutra’ to honor and pay tribute to Allen Ginsburg who had recently passed away. his duets were Tongues (with Ravish Momin) and Savage/Love (with Lee Robinson), both written by Sam Shepherd and Joseph Chaikin. Tongues was musically scored by Shepherd, while Savage/Love was scored by Lee Robinson and Mr. Wenger. the trio performed an excerpted section from Wenger’s current project, America, a place, part i.
work begins on America, a place, part i, ‘The Arrival’,
a particular way of looking at things— a very special sense of Time
a four part opus magnum about the American landscape. part the first is the mythology of a place called America, the birth of this place: its mythology. seeds are planted. roots are placed into the soil of a land ‘come known as America. on the soft shore of the Atlantic two cultures meet: the Vikings and the Lenni Lenape. extensive use of film, music and voice.
april 1996 David, a documentary, a one person piece about the terrible mystery schizophrenia, performed at Three Quarters Below the Street. original music composed by Lee Robinson.
may – december 1995 serious script revisal of Duet. works alone. takes the piece to its final state. it is essentially ready for production.
april 1995 writes, edits and performs The Seder. text consists of original material, and excerpts from The Shalom Seders compiled by the new Jewish agenda, Haggadah,“The Passover Story” by Gerard Garouste and Marc-Alain Ouaknin; an adaptation of an Uitoto myth entitled “Was It Not an Illusion” and “The Sunflower” by Simon Wiesenthal. piece deals with concepts of separation, participation, forgiveness, and guilt. powerfully evocative images: shaman/rabbi chanting at stone wall, while placing folded prayers in cracks; the limping dance with rattle while reciting the Uitoto myth of creation; kaddish as an old man in complete darkness, and out of this darkness, the ghastly image of a young German soldier, face entirely wrapped in gauze, who tells his story, and then begs forgiveness for his participation in wartime atrocities. original music composed by Brian Kruman based on the text of “I Never Saw Another Butterfly”, written by children interred in Terezin. performed at Three Quarters Below the Street, Pittsburgh.
february – may 1994 trip to the Middle East: extensive trek thru Ethiopia, up Nile to Cairo, across the Sinai Peninsula, following the route of the Hebrew tribes, into Israel. explores Israel from southern Negev to Golan Heights. works with Arab and Israeli theatre groups, Ishtar and Tmu-Na in a theatre laboratory setting. the basis of the work is homelessness, place, separation. the collaboration promises compelling socio-political-economic dialogue between culturally diverse people.
december 1993 as member of the Ching Ching Ensemble, an international group of musicians and actors, Wenger provides dramatic readings juxtaposed against various chamber music configurations. performances at The Carnegie Music Recital Hall, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
august – december 1993 directs three segments of Duet—Eva the EveryWoman, on her timeless journey in search of herself, connecting with those who have come before her, and those women yet to come. written as Greek drama: masks, lyrical and liturgical language, stylized movements, exotic gestures, rituals, and special vocal techniques. Eva, a three member female chorus, a Crone, live and on video tape, and a male shadow are the other primary characters. excerpts performed at Three Quarters Below the Street, in collaboration with the actress Sarah Erwin, and scenic designer Sandra Budd.
july – december 1994 and june – october 1993 creates black box theater, Three Quarters Below the Street at 414 South Graham Street, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania where new and experimental works are performed fridays from august thru the end of december. Krapp’s Last Tape, and a poetry reading by the Pennsylvania poet laureate, Sam Hazo, inaugurate the space. in its two year life, many esteemed local performers from the worlds of poetry, music, theatre and fiction performed their work. during its run, Mr. Wenger performed Tongues by Sam Shepherd and Joseph Chaikin, and a section of Operation Work: In Progress.
march 1993 re-writes and performs Dismembered.Remembered, part 11, as a solo piece. the rendition is on a much grander scale. performer moves between a hair pile (subjective thought), and a couch (objective thought), thru a transit area (the world of experience) where he is engaged by 4 linked video monitors housed within a 14’ totem. all this on a rotating stage. very cathartic piece, meant as a rite of passage. explores man’s sexuality and relationship to women. the set is a circle which slowly rotates thru the performance. the audience surrounds the circle, separated into groups of eight, contained by their separate, discrete worlds. performances at the old grid, ink. storefront in East Liberty Pittsburgh.
september 1992 words from behind the Iron Curtain just after the Wall came tumbling down, inspired a trip to East Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. backpacking trip in the Tatras of northern Slovakia.
6 July 1992 Seven6=13. a performance piece consisting of 13 elements (dramatic readings, music, and slide work). each element revolved around the concept of Time. each element was 13 minutes in length, and all 13 elements were juxtaposed in a random fashion across 13 locations, inside and outside the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, creating very intensely orchestrated relationships, unified by the concept of Time.
november 1991 writes, directs and performs Ineluctable Modalities, parts 1 and 11. a look at the politics, socialization and sexuality surrounding the ‘wonderful world of work’. two separate performances: a man’s perspective and a woman’s, linked by bus rides, upon which the audience is interviewed about work, first by a male interviewer, and then a female talk show host. Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
march 1991 writes, directs and performs The Summation of Oranges. three lead characters, a five person chorus and a six member band. combines absurdist drama and niteclub schtick in the last niteclub on the edge of the desert. America, the church, social and political commentary, our American values. extensive use of experimental slide work. performed in a large store front in the East Liberty section of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
november 1990 trip to Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Las Vegas and Death Valley with sidekick photographer, ‘to shoot-up the landscape’. slides from trip become central in the visual design for The Summation of Oranges.
march 1990 writes, directs and performs Quodlibet. a group piece. extensive use of tape music, sounds, and slides; chorus and live musicians add to the fun. the American journey: time, evolution, the development of the landscape, our social imperatives. vignette style. performed at The Brew House on the Southside, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
july 1989 flies to California. rents car. drives up and down coast. backpacks in Sequoia National Park. meets big brown mama bear one nite deep in the woods.
december 1988 trip to France—Brittany, Normandy, Paris and Alsace Lorraine. good wine; good cider, an excellent sojourn.
july 1988 takes another drive across the American landscape. backpacking excursions in Lassen Volcanic Park and Yosemite National Park.
january 1988 sells first home, buys second, a larger, older, more ornate and stately Victorian Manse.
may 1987 spends spring and summer traveling across America, with side trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he visits Haleakala, ‘the center of the world’.
may 1987 – may 1984 buys old home and spends the next three years renovating, thick in plaster. learns to walk sideways.
may 1983 the prodigal son returns to Pittsburgh.
january 1981 trip up east coast. photo essay on maple sugaring in southern Vermont.
december 1983 – may 1980 moves to Brooklyn New York. works with The House. studies vocal techniques with the Meredith Monk Troupe.
december 1980 writes and performs Operation Work: In Progress, a solo piece. each section of this quartet deals with a different aspect of work. seminal for its extensive use of audio tape and slide imagery. performer often works separately from these elements creating an abstract working relationship with his material. performed in the rotunda at The School of Design, at North Carolina State University.
march 1980 writes and performs dismembered/remembered part 1, a series of exposures, a solo performance piece in which an incident from childhood regarding a woman forms the basis for this noir thriller. performer as detective & suspect. piece scrutinizes memories, feelings and images for clues. performed in apartment Raleigh North Carolina.
january 1980 models and teaches drawing classes at The School of Design, at North Carolina State University.
autumn 1979 second stint in the orchard along historic route 18. sets records. picks Mcintosh, Golden Delicious, Empire, and the irrepressible, Ida Red.
august 1979 American studies research culminates in the creation of two theatre pieces—a first draft of Quodlibet, and Opening Windows Passages, a seminal piece in which the rituals of our everyday life, the ‘rites of passage’ we make, and the significance of each person’s place in history, converge. very poetic and whimsical, performed vignette style in a warehouse along the rr. tracks, Raleigh North Carolina.
autumn 1978 first stint picking apples in orchard along historic route 18 upstate New York.
spring – summer 1978 spends the summer backpacking through Europe—Greece, Crete, Switzerland, England, France, and Spain, particularly Andorra, are the highlights.
april 1978 grid, ink. an experimental theatre group formed. creates Trash, an environmental theatre piece, a collaboration amongst artists from various artistic backgrounds, written during weekend retreats at The Farmhouse. script evolved from a series of improvisational tasks, games, exercises and rituals. an archetypal hunter, 2 punk rockers, a lost waif, a female sensualist, and a pair of tyvekkians, all converge upon the landscape. controversial piece performed on newly dedicated downtown mall, Raleigh North Carolina, as part of the first annual ArtSplosure.
march 1978 designs Krapp’s Last Tape as dinner theatre, a la crepes suzette, potages béchamel, fruites Normandies, artichaud gratinee et Senegalese soupe froid. two men dressed in tuxedos & black hi-top sneakers; two women adorned in French bordello outfits; and a young Krapp stretch the limits of Beckett. intimate and intense dramatic rendering in apartment, Raleigh North Carolina.
august 1980 – august 1976 earns keep as house painter—big bucks, expensive brushes, historic renovations—while resuming long neglected work in visual arts. very fertile period. sculptures: clay, plastic, bamboo and plaster. installation at The School of Design, North Carolina State University. book of poetry about Raleigh North Carolina entitled Thorp Town 276—
july 1976 backpacking expedition on Appalachian Trail, from the Rogers Recreation area in Virginia, to the end of the line at Springer Mountain and Amicalola Falls State Park Georgia.
may 1976 – august 1975 backpacks across northern Pennsylvania in the footsteps of Jonathan Chapman. enrolls at Thomas Jefferson College, Grand Rapids Michigan, one of several cluster colleges of Grand Valley State College. formalizes self-designed program. broadens the research on the American Adam to include anthropology, Native American culture, American literature and American history, particularly historical biographies. when the program stalls, enrolls in theatre department. classes in mime, improvisation, and voice. acting classes with Tom Lillard of the Open Theatre. performances at the Grand Rapids Community Theatre include, Richard 111, Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead, and a thesis project, a solo performance of Krapp’s Last Tape by Samuel Beckett. moves into the salvation army for a month to get a feel for older men. thickly made-up. parody or tragedy? graduates with BPh.
august 1975 – july 1974 hitchhikes back east. takes hiatus from traveling to visit parents outside Pittsburgh. hit by a semi truck while riding bicycle. holes up in an apartment in Friendship. attends classes at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. begins to develop an independent program that revolves around the American Adam myth in American Literature. finishes second part of June Chants Loud, a book of poems about the American landscape.
july 1974 hitchhikes to Colorado. attends Naropa Institute in Boulder. poetry and philosophy courses with Jose Arguelles and Allen Ginsburg.
march 1974 hitchhikes across country. moves to Olympia Washington. continues reading American fiction and poetry. extensive backpacking trips in the Olympic rain forest and Cascades, south, down the Pacific Crest Trail in the area around Mt. Saint Helens.
november 1974 – march 1973 finishes two short books of poems: Sea Scape, written during trips to the North Carolina coast, and Early N.Y.C. written while driving cab thru the streets of New York City during the fall of 1973. works for United States Postal Service in Pontiac Michigan through winter.
april – november 1973 two week poetry seminar in Michigan. everyone is present, from Allen Ginsburg to Diane DiPrima. backpacking expedition in the Northeast—Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, Gaspé Peninsula National Park, and the Maritime Provinces of Northeast Canada. thanksgiving at Allen Ginsburg’s farm in Cherry Valley New York. rides thru snow laughing about the countryside on the back of a tractor.
march 1973 hitchhikes down the Pacific Coast to Baja California as a cat surreptitiously wanders along the beach. a book of poems entitled Calexico Cat is the result.
september 1972 hitchhikes across the broad muscular continent to the west coast, traveling up and down Pacific, settling in Seattle as the golden rays of autumn delight the brilliant landscape. hibernates from winter precipitation reading American fiction and poetry, writing like a fiend, eventually finishing a small book of poems in haiku style entitled, Seattle Nite Journal Thoughts. begins lifelong yoga and meditation practice.
1972 – 1980 Love Songs, a book of erotic poems. july 1972 backpacks a hundred mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia during an horrendous summer of storms and flooding. rewarded with a full blown case of mononucleosis.
june 1972 modern poetry class. extensive taping & analysis of e.e.cummings’ poetry leaves this young man inspired and wanting more. departs NYU invigorated, in search of the American landscape.
summer 1971 hitchhikes out west. backpacking expedition thru Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
september 1970 begins matriculation at New York University.
june 1970 graduates Gateway High School, Monroeville Pennsylvania. hitchhikes thru New England. never looks back, oh Satchel Paige, Satchel Paige. works in upstate New York camp, then backpacks thru Catskills.
7 February 1969 the Fugs, the Velvet Underground, and The Grateful Dead at the Stanley Theatre, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. i am awakened!